UJA Federation of Greater Toronto Partnership: Eilat/Eilot

Eilat, Israel’s southernmost city at the tip of the Red Sea and Eilot, the surrounding rural region, cover 13% of the land in Israel but only 0.7% of the population. This geographic remoteness has resulted in a severe lack of professional opportunities, educational facilities and medical services.


At the same time, as Israel’s premier tourist destination bordering Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia, Eilat/Eilot has unique strategic significance. It is a major innovator in agriculture, environmental protection and renewable energy.


Since 1997, UJA Federation of Greater Toronto’s partnership with Eilat/Eilot has focused efforts on three main areas -- education, innovation and healthcare – with the primary goals of:


  • Widening professional opportunities for the current population beyond tourism and agriculture
  • Attracting new residents to the region to help develop economic and research opportunities


Current investments include:

  • STEM Education

    Science, Technology, Engineering,Math

    STEM education has been identified as a highly effective means of promoting social and economic advancement. This initiative aims to significantly improve elementary/high schools achievement levels in science and technology. College science students work as teachers aides in high schools, reducing teacher-student ratios and introducing them to teaching as a profession.

  • The Eilat Campus of Ben Gurion University

    BGU Eilat provides opportunities for locals and attracts skilled young adults to the area.

    UJA Toronto funded construction of the first campus dormitory building, which offers affordable housing to students. It is also developing innovative degree courses in renewable energy and marine biology.

    Students that receive scholarships from UJA Toronto volunteer within the community throughout the year, mostly tutoring underprivileged children.

  • Arava Science Center

    Poised to become Israel’s largest science facility south of Be’er Sheva, it promotes and conducts science and technology research and provides cutting-edge physical resources for researchers.

    Many of the near 50 researchers and post-graduate students are involved in community education. The center develops courses on renewable energy and energy conservation, as well as training programs for science teachers.

  • Yoseftal Hospital

    The only advanced medical facility in the southern Negev, Yoseftal Hopsital provides medical care to the region’s 55,000 residents and countless tourists.

    UJA Toronto is playing a major role in upgrading and modernizing the hospital’s infrastructure and human resources, to provide a level of service equivalent to that in central Israel.

    It has funded a new emergency wing, programming for nurses to upgrade skills and has developed incentive programs to attract doctors /nurses.

The Partnership’s people-to-people programs are developing leadership for the Jewish world and bringing an authentic narrative of contemporary Israel to the Toronto community. Israel Engagement Initiatives include:



  • Diller Teen Fellows

    An international youth leadership program, it empowers Jewish teens to be active, effective leaders with a strong Jewish identity and respect for pluralism. Fellows participate in educational workshops, weekend retreats and social service projects. Bi-annual reciprocal visits to each other’s communities, with home stays, forge lasting relationships between participants. Many graduates volunteer at community projects and serve as volunteer emissaries abroad through the shnat sherut program.

  • CHAT Israel Program:

    Toronto’s Tanenbaum CHAT has developed a new model for its grade 10 Israel seminar – a twelve-day program during which participants study and conduct research in marine biology at the Eilat campus of Ben Gurion University.

    During the inaugural program in February 2015, 30 CHAT students met with Israeli Diller Teen Fellows.

  • Shevet

    Run in conjunction with the Jewish Agency's Leadership Division, this leadership development program is for young Israelis who have spent a year volunteering in Toronto. It leverages participants’ exposure to Diaspora Jewish life in order to strengthen the bonds between Israel and world Jewry